As the popularity of the ketogenic diet – keto continues to grow, and so as the interest in keto supplements. Since doing the ketogenic diet eliminates a lot of foods, you are more likely to suffer from a lack of some nutrients.
Some supplements are specific to the keto diet aimed to help reduce potential side effects, and weight loss results.
This article looks at the best supplements for the keto diet.
Keto supplements uses
Most keto supplements serve to reduce the possible side effects of reducing carbohydrates in the diet. Additionally, some keto supplements can ease symptoms of the famous keto flu and keep you in ketosis for longer.
If you lead an active lifestyle and exercise, keto sports supplements can also give you more energy boost throughout the day.
Best supplements for the ketogenic diet
Now that we have a snapshot about keto supplements, let’s go over which ones are the best and what they are used for.
Here are the best supplements to use on the ketogenic diet:
1. MCT oil
MCTs are fats that are found naturally in certain foods. The acronym MCT refers to medium chain triglycerides.
The MCT oil is a type of keto supplement that contains many of these fats. The key to the benefits of MCT is in its structure.
Most of the fats you eat are made up of long-chain fatty acids, which contain up to 13–21 carbons. MCTs have between about 6 to 13 carbons.
Being shorter, MCTs are metabolized differently so this keto supplement is easier for the body to absorb than other fats and can be quickly used as an energy source.
MCTs can be converted to ketones quickly. If you are on a ketogenic diet, or a low carb diet , taking MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.
In other words, using MCT oil on the ketogenic diet would mean less unhealthy fats and allow for a greater balance in the diet.
Studies have confirmed that daily use of MCT oil reduced body weight, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and total visceral fat. (1,2)
The coconut oil is one of the richest natural sources of MCT, with approximately 17% of its fatty acids. Although in the form of supplements these are even more concentrated.
The easiest way to use this keto supplement is to add it to keto coffee or fat bombs.
2. Magnesium supplements
Magnesium is a mineral that regulates blood sugar levels and strengthens your immune system. Furthermore, this mineral plays a fundamental role in protein synthesis and cellular respiration. (3)
On a ketogenic diet, not only do you pass more magnesium in your urine, it can be even more difficult to reach the recommended amount of magnesium. Many magnesium-rich foods like beans and fruits are also high in carbohydrates.
For these reasons, taking magnesium supplements can be beneficial when on the keto diet.
The best magnesium supplements are magnesium glycinate, gluconate, and citrate. Taking 250 – 400 mg per day is sufficient.
Magnesium supplements are used to reduce muscle cramps, improve sleep quality, mood swings and irritability. All common symptoms when starting the keto diet.
3. Omega-3 capsules
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, capsules and oils, are rich in EPA and DHA, two molecules with extensive health benefits.
Taking Omega-3 capsules reduces inflammation, lowers the risk of heart disease, and prevents neurodegenerative diseases.
A ketogenic diet high in soybean oil, butter, and other Omega-6 fats can create an imbalance in the body and cause inflammation.
Omega-3 supplements while on a ketogenic diet help maintain a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the body. This is very difficult to do with food.
When shopping for omega-3 supplements, choose a good quality brand that provides at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg.
If you take anticoagulant medications you should consult a doctor before taking omega-3 supplements, since on keto or not, they can thin the blood.
Electrolyte supplements are one of the cheapest and best for the ketogenic diet, particularly for keto beginners.
The first few weeks of the keto diet are the most challenging. By cutting carbohydrates you not only start to lose a lot of water but also the minerals dissolved in it: sodium, potassium, magnesium etc. These are what are known as electrolytes.
Lack of these nutrients can cause you to feel typical keto flu symptoms – headaches, fatigue, dizziness, etc.
Adding electrolyte supplements can help reduce these symptoms. Another way is to slightly increase the amount of salt and green foods.
5. Plant fiber supplements
One of the main problems when starting the ketogenic diet is constipation. Taking plant fiber supplements can help you solve this problem.
Vegetable fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be assimilated in your digestive system. So you shouldn’t count it in your net carbs amount .
Most high-fiber foods are also accompanied by carbohydrates. So taking it in the form of supplements is a good option on the keto diet.
If you have decided on the keto diet to lose weight and have constipation, this is one of the best supplements for you.
6. Exogenous ketones
When doing the ketogenic diet, your body uses ketones instead of glucose for energy.
Exogenous ketones are a type of supplement that is used to increase the amount of ketones in the blood.
This keto supplement helps you get into ketosis faster. They could also increase your performance in sports and accelerate muscle recovery.
However, there are not enough studies on exogenous ketones yet. And while they are touted as useful for the keto diet, there is not enough data to confirm this yet.
7. Creatine monohydrate
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular sports supplements for increasing performance in the gym.
Creatine is used to increase performance in sports. The presence of creatine in the body optimizes the expenditure of ATP; and increases muscle glycogen performance. (4)
For those on the ketogenic, vegetarian or vegan diet, taking creatine is of utmost importance. Since creatine is practically not found in plant food sources.
There is a tendency to believe that the contraindications and side effects of creatine are serious. However, research claims that taking creatine correctly is safe for your health. (4.5)
8. Multivitamin complexes
Like minerals, water-soluble vitamins can be lost through urine. That’s why multivitamins can serve to substitute for the missing vitamins
One of the best vitamin supplements when doing the keto diet is vitamin C. In addition to optimizing your defenses, vitamin C serves to ensure collagen production and maintain proper skin hydration.
Moreover, by reducing the consumption of fruits and vegetables the risk of vitamin deficiency increases. However, an excess of vitamins can be dangerous to health, this is what is known as hypervitaminosis.
Whether you are on the ketogenic diet or not, this supplement should be taken with caution. The best way to know if it is good for you is to do a laboratory analysis and analyze the missing vitamin with a doctor.
Where to buy keto supplements?
Most keto supplements are sold in drug stores. Also, you can buy them through online stores like amazon.
The best supplements to take on the ketogenic diet are MCT oil, electrolytes, magnesium supplements, and Omega-3 capsules.
If you have constipation problems you can take supplements with vegetable fiber, if you do sports and opt for a vegetarian keto menu, creatine is an ideal supplement for you.
Exogenous ketones are not the best keto supplement, as there is insufficient evidence for what their effects are on the body.
- Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications. Source
- Functional foods for weight control: Conjugated linoleic acid, diacylglycerols, and medium chain triglycerides. Source
- Data on the Mg- National Institutes of Health. source
- Buford TW, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Source
- Creatine Supplementation. Source